Tag Archives: Conflict

Ukraine applies for NATO membership

Brussels 30.09.2022 Ukraine has submitted an official application to join NATO, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said after Moscow organised referenda in controlled by Russian troops four Ukrainian regions. (Image: social media)

“We are de facto allies already,” Zelenskyy said. “De facto, we have already proven compatibility with Alliance standards.”

“Ukraine is applying to confirm it de jure by an expedited procedure,” he stated.

NATO’s “open door policy” is based on Article 10 of the Alliance’s founding document, the North Atlantic
Treaty (1949).

The Treaty states that NATO membership is open to any “European state in a position to
further the principles of this Treaty and to contribute to the security of the North Atlantic area”.
It states that any decision on enlargement must be made “by unanimous agreement”.
NATO claims it has helped increase stability and prosperity in Europe. It also announces that the Alliance is aimed at promoting stability and cooperation, and at building a Europe united in peace, democracy and common values.

To join the Alliance, nations are expected to respect the values of the North Atlantic Treaty, and to meet certain political, economic and military criteria, set out in the Alliance’s 1995 Study on Enlargement. These criteria include a functioning democratic political system based on a market economy; fair treatment of minority populations; a commitment to resolve conflicts peacefully; an ability and willingness to make a military contribution to NATO operations; and a commitment to democratic civil-military relations and institutions.

EU top diplomats convene in Brussels

Brussels 17.07.2022 The Foreign Affairs Council will exchange views on the Russian aggression against Ukraine, with the participation via video teleconference of Ukraine’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba. The Council will also hold a discussion on relations between the EU and Latin America and the Caribbean, and digital diplomacy.

Under current affairs, ministers will discuss foreign information manipulation and interference, the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a possible EU-Israel association council, the upcoming ministerial meeting between the EU and the League of Arab States, and the situation in Sri Lanka and Tunisia.

The Council is due to approve conclusions on: EU Digital Diplomacy, foreign information manipulation and interference, EU priorities at the 77th United Nations General Assembly, and EU development aid targets for 2022.

The EU and its citizens stand in full solidarity with Ukraine and its people. The EU has taken concrete actions to support Ukraine and its neighbouring countries that are providing protection for people fleeing the war. Measures include:

The reception of refugees through the temporary protection mechanism:
€348 million in humanitarian aid for Ukraine and Moldova
material assistance to Ukraine and its neighbouring countries through the EU civil protection mechanism
€20 billion to support member states hosting refugees
€2.2 billion in macro-financial assistance to foster stability
€2 billion to support the Ukrainian armed forces

Borrell: sanctions require “strategic patience”

Brussels 17.07.2022 “Since Russia brutally invaded Ukraine, the EU has adopted six packages of sanctions against Moscow – and we are about to finalise a “maintenance and alignment” package to clarify a number of provisions to strengthen legal certainty for operators and align the EU’s sanctions with those of our allies and partners of the G7” writes the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell (pictured) in his blog.

“Our measures already now target nearly 1,200 individuals and almost 100 entities in Russia as well as a significant number of sectors of the Russian economy. These sanctions were adopted in close coordination with the G7 member, and the fact that over forty other countries, including traditionally neutral countries, have also adopted them or taken similar measures enhances their effectiveness.

“Sanctions require strategic patience because it may take a long time for them to have the desired effect.
Now, as the war drags on and the costs of energy rises, people in Europe and elsewhere ask whether these sanctions are working and/or whether the side effects are too great. Without underestimating different problems that could occur, including attempts made to bypass them, sanctions remain an important instrument of political action. But for sure we need to use them in a well targeted manner, and, above all, they require strategic patience because it may take a long time for them to have the desired effect.

“One of the main sanctions adopted is to stop buying 90% of EU oil supplies from Russia by the end of 2022, depriving Moscow of corresponding revenues. Yes, Russia is able to sell its oil to other markets, however this benefit is limited by the fact that Russia is forced to give high discounts on each barrel (Russian oil is sold at around $ 30 less than the global average). In addition, and this is perhaps the most important point, this gradual oil embargo and the scaling back of the import of gas, liberates Europe from its energy dependence on Russia. We have discussed this issue at the EU level for years, but now we are implementing it.

“Cutting our structural energy dependence on Russia matters a lot because this dependence has been an obstacle to developing a strong European policy towards Moscow’s aggressive actions.
“Cutting our structural energy dependence on Russia matters a lot because this dependence has been an obstacle to developing a strong European policy towards Moscow’s aggressive actions. This dependence probably played an important role in Putin’s initial calculations in Ukraine. He may have believed that the EU would never sanction Russia seriously because it was too dependent on energy. This is one of his most important blunders when launching this war.

“Of course, this rapid detoxification from Russian energy involves significant costs for a number of countries and sectors that we will have to face. However, it is the price to pay to defend our democracies and international law. We have to handle these consequences by reinforcing our internal solidarity and that is what we are doing. By breaking its energy dependence, in line with its climate ambition, the EU is learning that interdependence is not always a neutral instrument that is beneficial to all or a mean to guarantee peaceful international relations. The Ukraine war confirmed that interdependence can be used as a weapon”.

EU-Russia: more individual sanctions

Brussels 03.06.2021 Russia’s aggression against Ukraine: the EU targets additional 65 individuals and 18 entities (Image: illustration)
The Council decided today to impose restrictive measures on an additional 65 individuals and 18 entities in response to Russia’s ongoing unjustified and unprovoked military aggression against Ukraine and other actions undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine. This decision is an integral element of the comprehensive sixth package of sanctions adopted by the Council earlier today.

“There can be no impunity for war crimes. We are adding today to our sanctions lists those who are responsible for enabling this unjustified war and the war crimes committed in Bucha and Mariupol, adding more people from the military and economic elites and those with close ties with President Putin supporting his illegitimate aggression against the Ukrainian people” Josep Borrell, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy said.

“The 65 listed individuals include the military staff that led the actions of those units of the Russian army that killed, raped, and tortured civilians in Ukraine in Bucha, including Colonel Azatbek Omurbekov, who was nicknamed the ’Butcher of Bucha’.. The list also includes those responsible for the inhuman siege of the city of Mariupol, including Colonel-General Mikhail Mizintsev, nicknamed the ‘Butcher of Mariupol’, and those who participated in the creation of the so-called Committee of Salvation for Peace and Order in March 2022 – an organ for collaboration with the Russian occupation in Kherson Oblast. Lastly, the EU is imposing sanctions on politicians, propagandists, leading businesspersons and family members of already sanctioned individuals. The former gymnast and State Duma member Alina Kabaeva is also included in the list as a close associate of President Vladimir Putin” the EU top diplomat added.

The 18 sanctioned entities include a variety of companies supporting, directly or indirectly, the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and the Government of the Russian Federation, including Russia’s largest securities depository, the National Settlement Depository.

Altogether, EU restrictive measures now apply to a total of 1,158 individuals and 98 entities. Those designated are subject to an asset freeze, and EU citizens and companies are forbidden from making funds available to them. Natural persons are additionally subject to a travel ban, which prevents them from entering or transiting through EU territories.

The EU resolutely condemns Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. It urges Russia to immediately stop its indiscriminate attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure, and to immediately and unconditionally withdraw all its troops and military equipment from the entire territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders. The atrocities being committed by Russian forces and the suffering and destruction being inflicted are unspeakable. The EU calls on Russia to allow immediate humanitarian access and the safe passage of all civilians concerned. It also calls on Russia to immediately allow the safe return of Ukrainian individuals forcibly removed to Russia.

The European Union is unwavering in its commitment to help Ukraine exercise its inherent right of self-defence against the Russian aggression and build a peaceful, democratic and prosperous future.

The relevant legal acts, including the names of the listed individuals and entities, have been published in the Official Journal of the EU.

MEPs protect Ukraine women

Strasbourg 05.05.2022 The European Parliament (pictured) debated and will vote on how to protect women fleeing Ukraine from violence and trafficking, and on granting them access to essential health services.

On Thursday, MEPs are set to strongly condemn the use of sexual and gender-based violence as a weapon of war and to express their deep concern about the growing number of reports of human trafficking, sexual violence, exploitation, rape and abuse faced by women and children fleeing Ukraine. They are expected to call for trafficking networks that profit from sexual exploitation of women refugees to be identified and prosecuted.

MEPs are also set to urge the EU and all host and transit countries to ensure access to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), particularly emergency contraception and abortion care, including for victims of rape, as well as obstetric care.

According to the UNHCR, more than five million refugees – 90% of whom are women and children – have fled Ukraine since the Russian invasion started on 24 February. A further 7.1 million people are internally displaced within Ukraine, including women and children in need of medical care.

AMENDMENT: The European Parliament adopted a resolution (462-19-89) calling on the EU to protect Ukraine women refugees from violence and sexual exploitation.

Borrell visits Kyiv

The EU top diplomat Josep Borrel visited Kyiv on Friday, April 8, together with the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, to reaffirm European solidarity with Ukraine and to announce additional support for its defense against Russia’s aggression. They met with President Volodymyr Zelensky, Prime Minister Denis Shmyhal and visited the town of Bucha.

“There are two words to describe what is happening in Ukraine: failure and horror. Failure of the Russian army to overcome the courage of the Ukrainian people and horror over the indiscriminate killings and attacks against civilians,” High Representative Borrell said after the meeting with President Zelenskyy.

He stressed the EU’s appreciation for the bravery and morale of the Ukrainian people, as well as for the resilience of the authorities in maintaining the functioning of the state structures and the capacity to govern, despite the ongoing brutal invasion. With his Ukrainian counterparts Josep Borrell discussed in detail their current needs and acknowledged that their most urgent needs are weapons arms.

“We have already allocated one billion euro to provide weapons to the Ukrainian Army to defend the country and its people. In a couple of days, we will allocate €500 million more. We will make sure that these resources will be tailored to your needs, to provide you with the arms you need to fight to resist and to win,” stressed High Representative Borrell also at the meeting with Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal.

In the wake of massacres by the Russian occupation forces in Bucha, he recalled the EU’s strong condemnation of the heinous crimes and widespread violations by Russian troops. He underlined that there cannot be impunity for war crimes and outlined the EU support to the ongoing national and international accountability efforts, including the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The High Representative said that the European Union will help, too, with documentation and prosecution of war crimes committed by Russian occupation troops in Ukraine.

“We will help the Ukrainian Prosecutor General to present the proofs in front of the International Criminal Court. Our civilian EU Advisory Mission will deploy their tools and capacities in order to support Ukrainian authorities in this task.”

The EU Advisory Mission will be supporting the Ukrainian Prosecutor General in providing training and donating equipment to ensure safe investigation and collection of evidence on the ground. The EU is also launching a dedicated €7.5 million euro project to support the investigations with ensuring large data collection on missing and disappeared persons.

During his visit in Ukraine High Representative Borrell [europa.eu/!tWtJHj]announced the return of the EU Delegation back to Kyiv, after its temporary relocation to Rzeszow in Poland. In talks with Prime Minister Shmyhal they agreed to accelerate preparations for the next EU-Ukraine Association Council, to take place in the near future.

MEP Donato denounces Facebook ban

Brussels 14.03.2022 “They closed my Facebook page. The attack on me started in a heavy way. Draw conclusions». The Venetian MEP Francesca Donato denounces this action of Facebook in her Twitter micro blog, explaining that her Facebook page with over 143 000 followers has been closed.

«I was immediately informed by my communication staff of the disappearance of the page which took place without any notification or warning from Facebook. I can only think that Zuckerberg’s company, which in these hours has also decided to make legitimate threats and insults to Russian citizens, has instead considered my page too free or in any case not compliant with the mainstream vulgate. This had been clear to me for some time, but I didn’t think they would silence a democratically elected Member of parliament and candidate for mayor in the fifth city of Italy».

The Facebook page of the independent MEP had already suffered limitations due to the very critical positions expressed on the vaccination campaign and on Covid management. «The blackout of my page comes incidentally after my vote against the European Parliament sanctions against Russia and my critical position on the government’s line of exacerbating the conflict in Ukraine. Limiting or even preventing the free expression of political opinions seems to me a way of operating on the part of Meta that is incompatible with the need to defend freedom and democracy. Anyone who thinks of silencing me or intimidating me should put his mind in peace: I don’t stop “, concludes Donato

MEP Donato has been exposing atrocities of the Ukranian troops towards civilians in Donbass, calling for peaceful resolution of the conflict, which lasted for eight years after Maidan Revolution in Kiev.

Zelensky visits wounded servicemen

Brussels 14.03.2022 Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelesnky visited injured soldiers in a Kiev hospital Sunday, 13 March, shaking hands and presenting medals to the wounded servicemen in their beds.

Photos and videos from the scene showed the President talking to members of Ukraine troops, who were recovering from the wounds at various locations, including Hostomel Airport near the capital.

One snap captured him appearing to take a selfie with a bedridden soldier, who he later awarded a medal.

Another showed Zelesnky with full personal protective equipment, including a mask, as he talked to a service-member hooked up to a slew of medical machines.

The president’s visit to the Kiev hospital comes as Russian forces encircle the capital.

The figures of perished and wounded among Ukrainian and Russian servicemen are various, dependent on the source, while each national news agency publishes information amplifying the loss of the foe, and reducing the loss of their own.

Ukraine officials have reported 1,581 civilian casualties. Among them was award-winning journalist Brent Renaud, a former New York Times contributor who was killed caught in ongoing battle near Kiev.

EU: Michel invitation to Versailles Council

Brussels 09.03.2022 Invitation letter by President Charles Michel to the members of the European Council ahead of their informal meeting of 10 and 11 March 2022:
“Russia has brought war back to Europe. This unprovoked and unjustified military aggression against Ukraine grossly violates international law and undermines European security. Russia is inflicting unspeakable suffering on the Ukrainian population. We commend the people of Ukraine for their courage in defending their country. Together with Ukraine, we stand firmly on the side of freedom and democracy. Ukraine is part of our European family.

“In response to Russia’s aggression, the European Union has shown unity and strength. We have imposed on Russia the strictest sanctions ever adopted. The European Union and its Member States are providing coordinated humanitarian, political, financial and material support to Ukraine. Member States are also showing immense solidarity in hosting countless people fleeing the war.

“This conflict and its consequences will be at the heart of our informal meeting in Versailles on 10 and 11 March, which President Macron will kindly host.
Over the past years, faced with multiple crises and challenges, we engaged together on an ambitious strategic agenda. In the light of recent events, it is more urgent than ever that we take decisive steps towards building our sovereignty, reducing our dependencies and designing a new growth and investment model.

“Consequently, at our informal meeting, I would like us to focus on three particular issues, namely:

bolstering our defence capabilities;
reducing our energy dependency, in particular on Russian gas, oil and coal, and
building a more robust economic base.

Our meeting will start on 10 March at 5:30 pm with an exchange of views with the President of the European Parliament. Our objective on the first day is to focus on the situation in Ukraine, as well as on defence and energy.

On 11 March, our morning session and our working lunch will be devoted to our new growth and investment model in the presence of the President of the European Central Bank and the President of the Eurogroup.

“I look forward to seeing you in Versailles (pictured above)”.

Russia-Ukraine talks started in Gomel

Brussels 28.02.2022 Talks between Russian and Ukrainian officials began on the Belarusian border, Moscow said, while diplomatic and economic estrangement between Russian and the West deepens after four days of ongoing Russian assault in Ukraine.

Russian army overtook a number of cities in southeastern and the area around a notorious nuclear plant Chernobyl, the Interfax news agency wrote.

Talks between Russia and Ukraine are to be held in the Gomel region of Belarus.

As the site KP newspaper wrote earlier, the delegation from Ukraine was delayed due to difficult logistics – the diplomats decided to go through Poland first. The Ukrainian negotiators were reluctant to go directly to Gomel, as the fighting was going on in the area from the Ukrainian side.

The head of the Russian delegation Vladimir Medinsky (pictured), reported that Russia was ready to start negotiations immediately after the arrival of the Ukrainians.

14:35 The Russian-Ukrainian negotiations began with the Ukrainian delegation demanding the return of Crimea and the immediate payment of an indemnity of $14.8 billion, otherwise threatening to launch a large-scale offensive along the entire front.

14:07 Makei to the participants in the talks between Russia and Ukraine: “President Lukashenko sincerely hopes that during today’s talks it will be possible to find ways to resolve all crisis issues. And all Belarusians are praying for this. Any of your requests and proposals regarding the organization of today’s meeting will be accepted and implicitly executed. We are waiting for the result.”

13:55 Lukashenka hopes that in the course of negotiations between the Russian Federation and Ukraine it will be possible to find a solution to all crisis issues, the head of the Belarusian Foreign Ministry reports.

13:17 Negotiations between Russia and Ukraine have begun in the Gomel region, BelTA writes. The meeting of delegations is taking place near the Ukrainian border on the banks of the Pripyat River. Due to security reasons, the exact meeting point has not been announced.

11:39 The office of the President of Ukraine says that its main goal of negotiations with Russia is an immediate ceasefire and the withdrawal of Russian troops.

Read on http://WWW.KP.RU: https://www.kp.ru/daily/27369/4552011/

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